What is From the Ground Up?
From the Ground Up is a documentary project that provides an inspiring look at gardeners in three cities, juxtaposing these modern urban farmers with the original Victory Gardeners who during WWII grew food in backyards, on balconies, any wherever they could. At their peak, these gardeners yielded 40% of the produce consumed in the US. Today a Sacramento teacher and her young sons “take on City Hall” to fight for their front yard vegetable garden; a team of San Francisco artists recreate the Civic Center Victory Garden; Puerto Rican migrants in Massachusetts work to elevate their quality of life by growing vegetables in vacant lots. By creating a documentary, interactive website, and other media with opportunities to participate, From the Ground Up seeks to inspire people to grow a small bit of their own food then share it, creating a tangible way to connect to their local food system, strengthening their communities and economies.
Where we are now:
The last few months has brought much progress to the the multi-layered project that is From the Ground Up. For the last eight months I have been participating in the Bay Area Video Coalition Mediamaker Fellowship . This has been a great experience and an honor to work with BAVC and such talented filmmakers. Through this program we have re-structured the main movie to work better for the type of screenings we have in mind, come up with a great plan for the future of the project and ideas for interactive media. We have been editing like mad and nearly have a rough cut of the main movie which we will be continuing to edit, add animations, archival footage, music and other finishing touches.
Very soon we will be releasing shorts of footage that is not in the main film, but we think needs to be seen. These shorts will be with inspiring people who are starting CSAs, training youth for green jobs, and with some of the original victory gardeners. We will also be having a series of guest bloggers sharing their experiences starting gardens and cooking fresh local produce. Make sure you like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and subscribe to the blog to get announcements of new podcasts and blog posts.
To keep all this work moving forward we need to raise money to make it happen in a timely manner. We will be having seedling sales, a costume/garage sale (in San Francisco) and crowdfunding on IndieGoGo, which is similar to Kickstarter.
We love to have seedling sales, they give us face to face time with local gardeners and a chance to talk in depth about why we are making this movie. We grow the seedlings ourselves and try to have as many heirloom and open pollinated varieties as possible. We just recently had two great sales, one at Esperanza Gardens in the Mission District of San Francisco, thanks to the generous Lisa Lee Benjamin and another at Kezar Gardens at the HANC Recycling Center and Native Plant Nursery. This garden is facing eviction, please go to their blog to learn more and how to help them fight it.
The costume/garage sale is inspired by a local filmmaker and we loved the idea - more face time and with people that may or may not be gardeners, our neighbors and since it is the weekend before Halloween we decided to get people to donate costumes. We will have seedlings to sell and treats from the garden.
If you are not familiar with crowdfunding - “Crowdfunding is asking a crowd of people to donate a defined amount of money for a specific cause or project in exchange for various rewards.” We have some fantastic rewards! We decided to go with IndieGoGo because they allow us to offer tax deductions for donations since we are fiscally sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society. This is a great opportunity for you to help us get this project out in the world so it can inspire people to start a garden. Other things you can do to help is to tell as many people as you can about this project and encourage them to join us and/or donate to the film.
Thank you for your support,
Kristi Stephens Adams
From the Ground Up